While spring training camps were abruptly closed and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season has been delayed in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, the deadly threat didn’t stop the Pittsburgh Pirates from teaming up with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) to score big time on March 21. The ball club donated $50,000 to the charitable organization, and members of its front office and other volunteers personally assisted in distributing frozen food as well as shelf-stable and fresh products to needy persons at a drive-through set up at a North Shore parking lot.
“This event is a great example of what we, as a Pittsburgh community, can do together to help our neighbors,” said Pirates President Travis Williams. “We could not be more proud of our employee volunteers and the people of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank who make this their mission every day.”
Hundreds of cars pulled up to the emergency distribution site, where volunteers loaded trunks and back ends of the vehicles with three boxes containing approximately 75 pounds of food. The donations will help feed at least 800 families in need of food assistance during these trying times.
Limited person-to-person contact involved during the food hand-off, as all parties observed social distancing protocols recommended by health officials.
“We work in an industry where we bring smiles to faces no matter what, and to do that in this moment means a lot,” said Joel Gray, manager of community outreach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that provides more than 35 million meals annually through a network of nearly 400 agencies in 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Pirates’ donation, which will provide approximately 250,000 meals through the GPCFB, is a part of Major League Baseball’s ongoing mission to feed those in need during the Covid-19 emergency. Owners and the MLB Players Association are making a combined $1 million donation to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America.